HAMSTERS & HEROIN: Not all junkies are purse-snatching grandmother-killing psychos. I'm keeping this blog to bear witness to that fact.


Gledwoods deutscher Blog

Bitte hier klicken ...


I used to take heroin at every opportunity, for over 10 years, now I just take methadone which supposedly "stabilizes" me though I feel more destabilized than ever before despite having been relatively well behaved since late November/early December 2010... and VERY ANGRY about this when I let it get to me so I try not to.

I was told by a mental health nurse that my heroin addiction was "self medication" for a mood disorder that has recently become severe enough to cause psychotic episodes. As well as methadone I take antipsychotics daily. Despite my problems I consider myself a very sane person. My priority is to attain stability. I go to Narcotics Anonymous because I "want what they have" ~ Serenity.

My old blog used to say "candid confessions of a heroin and crack cocaine addict" how come that one comes up when I google "heroin blog" and not this one. THIS IS MY BLOG. I don't flatter myself that every reader knows everything about me and follows closely every single word every day which is why I repeat myself. Most of that is for your benefit not mine.

This is my own private diary, my journal. It is aimed at impressing no-one. It is kept for my own benefit to show where I have been and hopefully to put off somebody somewhere from ever getting into the awful mess I did and still cannot crawl out of. Despite no drugs. I still drink, I'm currently working on reducing my alcohol intake to zero.

If you have something to say you are welcome to comment. Frankness I can handle. Timewasters should try their own suggestions on themselves before wasting time thinking of ME.

PS After years of waxing and waning "mental" symptoms that made me think I had depression and possibly mild bipolar I now have found out I'm schizoaffective. My mood has been constantly "cycling" since December 2010. Mostly towards mania (an excited non-druggy "high"). For me, schizoaffective means bipolar with (sometimes severe)
mania and flashes of depression (occasionally severe) with bits of schizophrenia chucked on top. You could see it as bipolar manic-depression with sparkly knobs on ... I'm on antipsychotic pills but currently no mood stabilizer. I quite enjoy being a bit manic it gives the feelings of confidence and excitement people say they use cocaine for. But this is natural and it's free, so I don't see my "illness" as a downer. It does, however, make life exceedingly hard to engage with...

PPS The "elevated mood" is long gone. Now I'm depressed. Forget any ideas of "happiness" I have given up heroin and want OFF methadone as quick as humanly possible. I'm fed up of being a drug addict. Sick to death of it. I wanna be CLEAN!!!

Attack of the Furry Entertainers!

Attack of the Furry Entertainers!

Monday, March 31, 2008

Ransacked! & Blue Imperial Leather Soap

LAST NIGHT I helped poor distraught Laundretta move the last of her things OUT of her old room. I say "last of her things"; I mean a couple of tartan washbags' worth... out of about 25 tartan washbags full of Laundretta's copious possessions (indeed t'was mostly laundry, 't'as t'be said..!

Matran being otherwise engaged (and sometimes thoroughly selfish, it has to be said) Laundretta said I was the ONLY person who had helped her move OUT of this double room full of bad memories... and into a SINGLE room where she can at least put some distance between them. They shall not be living as a couple any more. That is the theory, at least...

Because with nary a couple of days' notice, Evilstein has minded himself to knock my room and hers together into one generic supergarret (TWO superbly-double-glazed windows with GENUINE uPVC white frames! And two doors that have been so repeatedly ran at, squashed, bashed in, forced, wheedled, kicked at, carded and otherwise tampered with plus, in Laundretta's case about 25 copies of her keys (front door key included) are floating about the supposedly "lost" property of mysterious London... that in her stupors she has mislaid then had to beg the office for reinstatements... in the end she and Matran thought "get lost" and took to barging the front door open themselves so there it's been, swinging open all hours of night and day. Stingy Evilstein even (and this is monumentally SUPID if you consider the implications) REMOVED the latch from said front door so having lived with said door perpetually "on the latch" so to speak for weeks on end we now had an automatic "slam locked" front door that was more likely lock us out than ever before! And hence more likely yet again to get kicked in! Because that's what happens in vulgar houses with cupboard lock front doors. Evilstein and Butterstein, the two landlords, are in a lot of trouble, apparently for taking literally thousands of pounds off the local council's EMERGENCY HOUSING SECTION in weekly rent yet giving execrable service in return...

Dur! Hey this is what I wanted to tell you.... have you ever wanted to ransack and trash a room? Come on! We surely ALL have... well LAST NIGHT I got my chance. Drawers were pulled out, clothing strewn, cushions flung up high and trainers (that is "sneakers" to all ye Americans) clonking down with them. Chairs upended, table collapsed. Wow. Yeah!

The surly man who turned up this morning to complete the emptying of her room (and I mean emptying down to stripped-of-all-cupboards and wardrobes type of empty... totally stripped... he accused ME of interfering! Whatever gave him that idea!! I said hang on I WAS HERE LAST NIGHT with Laundretta, the ONLY person she had to help her (Matran's flown back away to family situations that's why she's in such a quandry loose canon last straw not knowing what on earth to do...) Yeah this man thought I HAD ransacked the room! I said hang on I WAS HERE HELPING last night and Laundretta was very upset. Eventually she just had to leave most of her stuff and stormed out going utterly BERZERK on the street (that's what she wanted me to tell them. She hates them for being so 2-faced with her...) so I told henchman this how I'd helped and we'd been searching out Matran's middle-aged reading glasses. He gazed at me in baleful disbelief. Then I pointed out that I'd fallen into the profoundest slumber and, because Evilstein has YET AGAIN failed to fix our door, or poor Laundretta's door LITERALLY ANYBODY FROM THE STREET was well able to sneak up, infiltrate her room and do anything there. So all flinging, streaming, strewing and upending ahoy ~ I got away with it!!

Butterstein the ueberlandlord was talking to me all jokey (which made Surly even more so: jealous that I appeared to get on fluently with the boss. Indeed I do in a 0.1 millimetre deep kind of a way. Surlystein doesn't realize how little love is lost between Butterstein (so-named because just like a blob of butter if you slip on this you can do yourself a yukky injury) when I requested I might have until tomorrow morning to clear my old room. This was agreed. And I've spend the day diligently filling the new room with specially selected best stuff. And littering the old room with pooily deselected old stuff. I'm ridding it myself as I could not bear some Evilsteinian henchman a-poking so-on through...

Now I simply MUST go this post has taken an hour longer than it ever meant to (according to their timer I've been on one hour precisely and it feels an hour too long I'm utterly exhausted and literally sleeping on my feet. I have to go but not before thanking you all profusely for the conglomeration of advice yous all gave me... I honestly did feel the need of a 2nd, 3rd... and 26th, 27th, 28th... opinion yesterday... as the Bible declares (in the book of proverbs take a multitude of counsel when in a quandry and you'll be fine)... and fine I am so thank you all very much indeed!


The Blue Imperial Leather is something Laundretta'd left behind, still wrapped, on her sink. I broke it open today and it smells of lavvy cleaner, quite obnoxious... toilet-ducky, I spose you could rate it... least it's not as bad as that public swimming baths aroma using warmed up bleach tends to give...


PS No more fighting robos! Why? Because I removed their teabox and every bit of furniture but the wheel. Now they're forced to live together and do so in furrily amusing harmony... three furry gremlin pompoms asleep and licking themselves in a row all day in the corner...

Saturday, March 29, 2008

New Room: Laundretta's out!

I'VE GOT A NEW ROOM DOWNSTAIRS! I wish it was up but no such luck; it's down. Never mind. New room ahoy!!

EVILSTEIN, THE OILY LANDLORD'S EVIL HENCHMAN banged on my door when I was faster than lightspeed asleep this morning. He yelled at me, getting my name wrong as ever, "YOU and ALL YOUR THINGS must be OUT by MONDAY. ANYTHING LEFT OVER will be INCINERATE!! It SHALL BE DESTROY!!
MONDAY you move to downstairs. We knock your room Laundretta's room together by then. Do not go anywhere before then. Plus you open window evil smell in here." (It was his unwarranted, unasked for, unneeded, totally useless, over charged-for, hated, smelly, floor-cracking and dripping over eggy breakfast. THAT's what made revolting smells all over his yukky carpets...)

So I returned my yellow bucket of old works at the chief exchangery this morning and was heartened to see my own drugs worker on duty there. The one I have now is the best one I think I've ever had EVER. I'm serious. It's not just to do with willing to go the proverbial "extra mile" but to do with a psychical connexion. That kind of thing. That we have. And my former workers never had with me. Female workers, I might add, outnumber male workers 4:1 at the moment, which, I would expect, makes the emotionally constipated male junkieheartdom even more difficulted, complexicated and loath to communicate than ever before...

I told my worker everything that's been going on
, bothering me, bothering others and so-n-so, which is a lot. Laundretta's finally had enough with, as she alleges, Tubbystein from downstairs interfering with himself over her sleeping body in the night (well she did insist upon rowing with Matran then slooming on the stairs...)

The council's given her a small new room a couple of miles away in one of my former old Manors. Is it true I have a soft spot for Laundretta and it shows? I thought I came across as mocking her. I DO like Laundretta. Poor girl. She's one of the most emotionally damaged individuals I think I've EVER met in my own short life...

Now I have to quickly finish this post. Bottom line is, I have to get my old stuff out of my old room by Monday a.m., have things polished a-cleared out and all a-new by then... implication being (and I want to ask your advice upon this, please:) do yous all agree with me that I should do what I've always fantasized about yet never had the courage? That is, to take with me only what I really, truly need. To maybe bag up some more things safe and take with. But to leave a good half of my things behind me upstairs...

Please: if you've any feedback, please feed it back ASAP as I need it SOON. I've had a really difficult couple of years. Psycho'd out of my head at start. Staring at walls, rocking. Then THAT COUPLE's appearance and little to my distress they still surely added to it... I had an amazing dream about that last night...

I need to know what to do. I need the courage of your convictions, so if you ARE convinced I should just chuck and go; please tell me. I will gladly do it and move on...

New Song:
Mamas and Papas: Creeque Alley (technicolour tv performance)
Mamas and Papas: "Matt Mix" ~ sound only modernized version

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Sage Donkey Derby; Continuing Robo-honking Squabbles; Cod in Parsley Sauce on Mushroom Tortelloni with Broccoli Recipe...

OR TONKEY TARBY... as I'd like to say in my "retarted" so-saying...

I've been eating Sage Derby cheese grated on my cod-in-parsley-sauce on mushroom tortelloni... the granny at the counter always cuts me an especially small chunk for grating...

Here's the recipe: it's yummy. (Half-industrial, I'm afraid..!)

You need:
1x Sainsbury's own (or Birdseye) frozen cod in parsley sauce £1.09 for one
1x pack Sainsbury's value mushroom tortelloni £1.59 for about 600g
One "tree" of broccoli (though you won't use it all; not for one person)...
A cheesegrater and something to strain pasta and broccoli from water...

Cooking: (serves one: multiply accordingly for further personnages...)
Put boil-in-bag cod-in-parsley-sauce in saucepan full of hot water. Bring to boil. Do not cover (this forces water into the bag; a lesson I learned early on!) it takes at least 20 minutes to do though you can give it an hour for really tender fish. Any much less than 20 mins gives a sushi-like effect which is to be avoided. So when adding broccoli and pasta bear the total cooking time in mind. Chop broccoli, separate as much pasta as you'll need (about a quarter of a pack should do per person...) if pasta's stuck together do not bother to separate: this will make holes that let in the hot water (not ideal!), cooking will separate it naturally so don't panick... the broccoli and pasta have the same cooking time: about five to eight minutes (eight minutes according to the label) so add 15-20 mins into the fish's boiling time. Boil all up. Remove bag of fish. Lay pasta on plate. Grate one layer of cheese over. Add broccoli. Grate another layer of cheese. Add the cod in parsley sauce. It will cover it with a beautiful white sauce. Add more cheese. You can also add parmesan: I do this on top of strained broccoli and pasta in a dry pan. I also add about two large pinches of pepper. Do it this way (esp. using Sage Derby cheese) and you have a meal of perfectissimo proportions!

The tonkey tarby refers (of course) to my trotters! See that picture of a white West Highland Terrier (aka terrorizer!!) ~ lady's leg in easy gnashing distance: that sums up Baby Itchy's character. Not only her aggression, but her furry fur when all bashed up and licked to pieces. She looks ever so cute when wet...

The tonky TARBY is my poor robos running round and round like a furry trotting horserace with the tyrannical Baby Itchy chasing Bashful and Spherical both! I can't believe she goes for old Momma Spherical. That is so disrespectful. But with a honk and a squeak she pings after both larger ladies (all fullgrown robbies are larger than Itchy who just is genetically tiny)... In despair I sought out advice about Itchy the Tiny's sudden character change and was advised that since spring is springing all around she probably wants a boyfriend! If true this is hilarious.

I thought I had set this off by adding more tubes and an empty parmesan container and more places to hide, sparking territorial rows over these new sleeping places. Traditionally my three have slept in the "teabox" (which they still have: it's a lightbulb box inside another box now: nibbled out to make entrance gaping enough for even Spherical to squeeze her lumbering frame inside.) Spherical weighs at least twice as much as tiny Baby Itchy, which makes Itchy's arrogance all the more unpalatable... They used to sleep inside here, atop their seeds, quite peacably together... or go all three inside their old burrow. Perhaps by complexicating their living arrangements, so I thought, I'd messed everything else and made Itchy suddenly territorial. She doesn't half chase the others round: and see them go: in human flight they're running well over 100 miles per hour! Honking, squeaking and virulently wrestling at other times. Quite naughty Baby Itchy ~ as I told her on numerous occasions...

Itchy's out of solitary. It was never an ongoing option as that "handbag box" is far too tiny to accommodate her. So I've let her back in with the others to run the gauntlet of her aggressive pinging and honking... today I am removing their extra tubes to simplify conditions to match days gone by... if that doesn't work to placify my manic donkey derby of roborovskis... I don't know what I'm going to do...

Pendragons: Magic Trick (very well done!)
Duck Raids Campsite (exceedingly entertaining!)
Mamas and Papas: California Dreamin' (classic footage)
Scott McKenzie: San Francisco (see them flower kids play glockenspiel!!)

CRYSTAL MENACE: read the Sun's excellent double-page spread from mid-Feb about the horrors of crystal methamphetamine, the crack-like smokeable, injectable, snortable and swallowable super-speed that rots its users' teeth and faces within months of daily use... view the gruesome before and after slideshow...

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Over-Emotional (& Squabbly Gremlins)/State Visit

IT'S ALL CHAOS at Gledwood Towers. Laundretta's gran died at the weekend and Matran's been taken away by family troubles of his own. She bought me drinks yesterday. I supped too quickly and was soon drunk. Then I got all emotional too.

My gremlins have gone to their tartan bag as protection from Evilstein the landlord. I thought I was doing them a big favour by adding long clingfilm tubes and other bits and bobs into their realm.

In my exhaustion I fell into a profound slumber for several hours only to be disturbed by a distrought Laundretta phoning and then repeated honks and squeakings from my gremlins' trottery.

The tartan bag is now right in front of me (I'm writing this at the witching hour of the night but posting around 2:30pm) Spherical is cantering away on her wheel; Itchy pinging round and round and in and out of a tube in solitary confinement. Separate accommodation because I have just seen her mercilessly harrassing the others, especially Bashful with this kind of "wrestling bears" posture, and slapping at each other with paws (very girlie)... Obviously something inside her has snapped as perpetual bottom peck in the robo-hammy hierarchy.

I let her back in with the others. Straight away she is disturbing old momma Spherical and instant chaos descended. So it's back to the handbag box for her. (Well that's what I call it. A plastic box that holds about five litres, complete with handbag-style handle. It is vaguely the shape of an oversized fishtank-shaped handbag...) Scrabbling away. Jumping up and up and up again at the light. She can jump approximately 3 inches at best, which from a 2 inch hammy means a grown man jumping NINE FEET!

When I just told her she was "very naughty" she slunk into a nibbled up toilet tube. I don't know what to do. There can be no wars among the trotters. If she carries on being naughty she is going to have to live separately which is robo-misery as they're social creatures. So I don't know. I really don't know. More robo-reportage tomorrow.


And last but by no means least Britain has the most glamorous state visit for generations this morning. France's President Sarkozy and wife Carla Bruni (Mick Jagger's ex among many many many many MANY others...) are to enjoy a state banquet tonight at Windsor Castle... then tomorrow they have to suffer the rather more dour company of Gorden Brown and his missus at their pokey Downing Street apartment... woo!

Read The Sun's reportage:~
Prince Charles Kisses Carla's Hand here
France's First Lady Carla Furious Over Nude Photo Shock here...
Nicola Sarkozy Promises Boring 1000 Extra French Troops For Afghanistan here...


Monday, March 24, 2008

Memoir Monday

WRITING... my passion all het up got me back to WRITING AGAIN... Yeah! Back to memoirs! (Not an autobiography; a memoir. An autobiography is (supposedly, though most authors pick and mix the truth to a shameful degree (I get the impression) a tale of one's entire life from birth to the point of writing. Mine being a drug memoir races through childhood and adolescence to my first encounter with drugs and yarns the tale from there.) My only departure from "truth" in the strictest sense comes by my renaming all my friends (as I do here: do you really think I know someone called "Laundretta"~??!?) and the necessity to briefen many secondary incidents in the interest of keeping the flow. All this and well over 100 pages handwritten (that has to be at least 25,000 words) and STILL I've not come to heroinsville! The story is "told with warmth and wit": I hope a reviewer will be able to say. And humour. Nobody wants a tale of misery from beginning to end and mine certainly isn't...

I did about TWO WHOLE PAGES last night... slept and was so whacked out I dozed all the way through my favourite radio show: Vanessa's programme on BBC London. Great literature is exhausting!

OK there's little other news. Except that I put in my red fireglow light last night. Within five minutes Bashful, my first gremlin emerged from the lightbulb box where they now sleep. Twenty minutes later saw Itchy make an appearance. Pinging all over the shot (or is it shop?) and gnawing on yellow pepper pumblechooks (y'know: the inside bits with stalk and seeds)... and at longest last Spherical stuck her moose-head outside: plaque-on-wall-style (which always looks hilarious) and lumbered out. Did a wee. Got on wheel and thundered ever onwards throwing the other two roborovskis off in varying directions; occasionally keeping one snaggled on flashing Daz-white undercarriage round and round and round. Spherical, being, well: almost Spherical and twice as heavy as Itchy is top peck. And what Spherical says in roboland GOES!

Happy Confectionary Monday to y'all!

Video: Duck Raids Campsite

Sunday, March 23, 2008


IT'S BEEN A VERY COLD DAY! Here in damp old London (London is meant to be a damp city: in the 1950s fog used to combine with coal smoke from a million plus chimneys to swirl into those famous "pea soupers" a kind of 1950s supersmog. Some evenings it was so bad they had to have the sighted led out of tube stations toward the trolleybus (tram) stops ~ by the blind! Maybe the fog was another reason for the enduring popularity of the trolleybus (which is a doubledecker tram*: ie like a double decker bus but powered from overhead electricity. For some reason they never tagged two or three together; which I always thought the entire point of trams: that they're longer and can go on-street then flume down underground suddenly to reappear in celestial rosegardens ... (sorry imagination took control of me for a sec). Yeah anyway does anyone know why they got rid of the trolleybus?

*no it was not! I just put up the trolleybus picture above (from South Africa) you'll see that one (and every trolleybus I googled) ran on TYRES not on street-embedded rails... why on earth would you want that? All the disadvantages of being tied to electric power and yet the possibility of taking a wrong turn and wrenching yourself free of the electricity!

I do apologize about my earlier post on books. The post is an extension of a telephone conversation. Or to put it another way: I wanted to put the idea of e-publishing to YOU the e-reader. And it all got a bit vehement. My vehemence is now dispersed.

Anyway now it's up to me to FINISH the bloody thing. E-book, selfpublished book or massmarketed book. Aaargh!!

I spent all day asleep. I don't know what got me. Something to do with not having slept more than a couple of hours a night for several days in a row. And suddenly I'm slaughtered!

Yeargkkh! I just realized Easter CONTINUES tomorrow into Monday. Why an Easter Monday? What's that all to do with? Eggs? Did you know in the Chandogya Upanishad the entire world is born from an egg? See: these myths were interwoven at the misty dawn of time...

Sorry not Chandogya: Katharudra Upanishad see verse 20 all gods and demons in the cosmic egg...

Taffy: I Love My Radio

Shiny Sunday

SHINY SUNDAY... it's been the earliest ~ and coldest ~ Easter in nearly 100 years. I say "shiny" ~ really it's a bright white day. Much of London (apparently) had snow yesterday, though none settled. We've not had serious, Christmas-card style snow to the best of my memory, since 1981. I remember tobogganing down the middle of the road (cars slippin' and slidin' all over so no chance of gettin' mown down and this was on a hill with a dead end up top) aged nine and drest in my first pair of jeans. (I'd been a couldroy kid up till then ~ how very 1970s!)

I went through a memoirs brainstorming session with a close friend last night. And emerged from it feeling less conclusive than ever before...

Also I was advised to publish electronically, online. The thought of selfpublishing memoirs or fiction, either e-wise or on paper, I have to say, leaves me utterly cold. Since starting this blog I have realized the essential paradox of the net: that with well over 100 million potential readers (in English) and all the clamour and confusion for attention, it really is hard to get noticed... without paying massive pounds-per-click to Google to get toplisted... I get only 80 hits ~ and that's on a good day.

I think a blog like mine with its sometimes challenging subject matter demands a level of ongoing emotional investment that most people feel unable to give. A book of memoirs requries such investment for only days... and then you move on. Far more attractive!

If my blog stuggles to make 80 hits, how on earth would I sell a book of 100,000 words ~ and CHARGE FOR IT (because that was the suggestion) and make anything like enough income for a 7-storey double-fronted house off Sloane Square with basement swimming pool? I really don't see this internet publishing thing working.

People go online for FREE information. They go to a bookshop to pay. Books are selling better than ever before (unlike newspapers, which are sinking Titanic-like into the meery gloom...)

Seeing new readers appear on my blog who might have spent two hours or more a day for several days in a row perusing my blabberings... then they mostly vanish. This convinced me that some people were reading my blog like a book anyhow.

But surely most people are still like me. They want a book they can take on the train to work each morning, eat sandwiches over at lunch, take into the bath and curl up with at night before dropping off. It becomes part of them for a week; then goes to a friend, or to the bookshelf.

In these days of pain, the socalled Misery Memoir has become a topselling category on any general publisher's list. These books sell. And I have a story to tell. If it's worth telling, it's worth selling.

My "dream", if you want to call it that, has always been to snag a top agent who will make a deal with a large conglomerate publisher with the power to orchestrate international publicity etc and get my book into every bookshop, airport, railway station etc the world over. I would be willing to play my part and go out promote promote promote on radio, on television (if they'd have me ~ ha!) and in print. Because that's the game, these days more than ever...

Books are showing no sign of any decline in sales in this so-called electronic age. It is worth bearing in mind that of all the massmedia: films, records etc, the printed word is by far the oldest and most enduring. In the last decade the highest sellers have sold higher than ever before ~ 50 million plus on seven Harry Potters and The Da Vinci Code. Distribution systems are more sophisticated than ever before. My blog gets only 20% of its readers from the UK. In other words 80% are scattered worldwide. How can I possibly selfpublish in volume format and arrange anything like such international distribution? Or even worse, e-publish and convince anyone to pay? Be honest: have ANY of you EVER paid any money for an online text-only product? I'd love to hear from you if you have.

First rule of business, as I see it ~ the customer is set in his ways. No matter how good my book might be I honestly don't see that I'd get anything like optimum revenue by putting it online and expecting people to pay ~ when there are reams upon reams of websites offering information on the same subject whether or not it's worse-written ~ for FREE.

Also, no traditional publisher would go anywhere near my work after I'd done this. When blogs have been "published", it's nearly always been on the understanding that the author adds at least 50% in fresh material.

A recent radio documentary on the future of the book surprised me in that even young children, the socalled Harry Potter Generation STILL preferred printed volumes to e-books or reading onscreen or scratting through nasty old print-outs.

I'm not against selfpublishing when it comes to roborovski books and other sideprojects. But I'm looking for a career. And I intend to make one by crafting memoirs and fiction: and by getting well paid for it!

Nobody seems to get it. I don't WANT to be a publisher. I want to be an author. Publishing is a business; authorship an art or craft. And as I said before, my ambition has always been to be an authro of heatwrenching bestsellers and to sell enough books to stretch end on end to the moon and back. Harper Collins or Random House could do this for me. I couldn't do it on my own!

Perhaps this soudns arrogant. To me it's just ambition. As the saying goes: reach for the stars and you might just catch the moon.


EAster has so far passed me by with nary a chocolate egg. All my talk of "trotters" and I've had a dose of the trots myself (yeah: you really wanted to hear that!)

If you're enduring fractious relatives after a ten hour road trip you have my sympathy.

It's a bleary day here. What do people actually do for Easter? I've no idea. I've never done it.

OK: bleary day; cheery day. It's what you make it. I hope all goes well with you.


Easter Bunny Doggie...


Music of the Day:
The Specials: Ghost Town


Hey! Spherical did a furry entertainment yesterday, when she poked her head from the teabox where they all sleep again... the hole is only JUST gnawed big enough to let a tubby robo in or out... so her head, protruding from this teabox, looked moosehead-on-plaque just like a bizarre piece of weary Victoriana ~ she was so entertaining

Friday, March 21, 2008

Fertility Goddess Friday...

"GOOD" FRIDAY... Easter... a man on the radio yesterday explained the pre-Christian origins of the "cross"... which represents the disc of the sun interposed with the crossing lines... a remnant of sun-worship, the wider world's version of monotheism... He also made a point that had crossed my head once in religious thought. He was wondering how the cross could possibly have become an emblem of Christianity when it represented that religion's darkest hour. "It's a bit like using a machine gun to represent Jacqueline Kennedy," he declared.

The picture above right is a South Indian fertility goddess; Easter apparently being a tie-in with fertility cults of the ancient world... Ishtar... Venus... and so on.

This "interview" ... I was trying to explain what happened and this is it. When you phone a talk radio station there are professional phone answerers. Depending on whether your point seems worthwhile and whether or not there is time to fit you on air they will take your name and may or may not ring you back.

Usually when you're rung back you wait about five minutes with the radio playing through your handset. When you're put through the host will already be discussing the subject you said you wanted to talk on, then you are put on live and it's up to you to make your point. This time, however he kind of "interviewed" me by asking a series of maybe twenty questions. They were very well put, and because I've got used to being able to discuss addiction I gave what were apparently fairly good answers. Because a couple of people phoned in afterwards and said so. That was what flattered me because one said he'd never heard addiction explained so well. It was, as I say, as much down to good questions as anything I answered "why did you start injecting?" etc etc he went right through it... So that's why I talk about an "interview". I wasn't specially put on as a special guest ~ I just phoned in like anyone else...

Well I'd better go. Have a merry day everyone and don't eat too much chocolate. (Or isn't that meant to be for Sunday? I've absolutely no idea...)

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Radio Interview

I PHONED THE RADIO AND GAVE AN INTERVIEW about being an addict... it gave me inspiration to carry on writing (which has stalled. I mean: stopped completely)... I lost all enthusiasm for it. But now I'm carrying on.

As for the radio; I'd called up seemingly hours earlier... then the phone rings when I'm fast asleep and I had to compose myself and just talk. The host structured what I said by asking questions (precisely the right ones, too) which is why I call it an "interview", as that's how it felt...

So these are three resolutions:
1. complete these dreaded memoirs. they've been going on for ages
2. cease using the words "tubby" and "trotters". what on earth someone coming here for the first time would think of my blog i shudder to think
3. keep self and living conditions in tip-top form. evilstein is on at me again (nosey old git: admitted to poking round in there under pretences of "spraying for cockroaches" (so why did I spot at least three last night? he sprayed nothing. just intruded where he is not welcome)

And that's that. Now I have to go. I dunno why but I cannot sleep properly still. so i've been listening to the radio all night (there's some very good stuff on)

and on and on i go... hey it's "Good" Friday tomorrow so have a happy pagan time all you who somehow manage to associate eggs and bunnies with Jesus Christ becoming Saviour to humankind...


THIS is one of the finest photoblogs I think I've ever come across:~

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Grey Skies

REPOSING HOME ALONE of a weary Wednesday afternoon... white-grey skies slowly shifting, stark light floods my double-glazed top window (bottom section blanked), the radio prattles on subdued volume; every now and then the front door goes banging, letting some busybody personnage in. Busy body: I am all but busy. I feel like those clouds: ever so distant, drear and insubstantial. Just like the weather, my heart feels chilled.

"Time goes by so slowly for those who wait," says Madonna.

But what about me, waiting for nothing? Time goes terminally slow.

Of course I must fabricate my own future. And that's what's new, I realized in my despair. I'm one of the people who's forever waiting for my boat to come in.

In lifetime past I was, of course, accustomed to sending out many little boats. All the time, on a frequent basis. Even though they usually were the tiniest of boats, out they got sent; and many did come back in...

For instance, I used to send off my answers on a postcard (remember those competitions? Before the blanket predominance of email and premium phone numbers?) By selecting prize draws with care (e.g. from trendy magazines whose readers mostly considered themselves above such trivia) I won all manner of nicknacks: guides to snowboarding, manga anime videos and so on...

And I had an endless stack of eyecatchingly funky specimens from the "please take a postcard" racks in trendy bars. I collected hundreds. These eyecatching postcards definitely helped me win...

I also applied myself to writing (unpublished) fiction, poems and other "works" I don't feel I wasted any time in so doing: firstly, writing is way more satisfying than timewasting old crosswords, sodoku and so on... and second, you actually have something to show for your efforts. As the only worthwhile author of writers' how-to guides, Dianne Doubtfire, pointed out; nobody expects to perform other acts of craftsmanship such as banging together furniture, or etching glass vases without first completing a rigorous apprenticeship. And so it is with writing. So none of my time or efforts have been wasted. I try to approach my memoirs etc with a sense of mellowness... Well I do try...

I was watching Trotters TV last night (ie handfeeding bits of bread etc: and they were so funny. I only gave one blob of wholemeal bread roll and Spherical grabbed it, who is top peck. Bashful immediately took up nibbling the other side, but Spherical reared up into wrestling position. Then Itchy's ears went up as she finally realized food was in the offing and it was right beside her... She stuck her nose out... till she realized Spherical was playing top peck, and didn't even attempt to have a nibble. Off she slunk to the wheel and let Spherical, now alone and relaxed, finish her top peck meal in peace...

Watching them I realized suddenly how very tiny they actually are. And why I gravitated towards such tiny trotters in the first place. They're just like kittens or puppies at two to three weeks; yet you know they will never pass the "tiny enough to sit on your palm" phase. Plus they do trot round and round like a furry horse race at times of tubby excitement.

(And I'd promised myself no robo-rants today. Sorry!)

And last but not least MORE legal news:

The Express Newspaper Group has reached a $1.1 million out-of-court settlement with the parents of missing toddler Madeleine McCann, who was apparently snatched from a holiday apartment in Praia de Luz in the Algarve, Southern Portugal, last September.

The Daily Express and Star newspapers had libellously suggested that the little girl's parents had something to do with her disappearance, which I'm sure most reasonable people consider to be absolute rubbish just as I do.

As part of the settlement the Express newspapers' legal team made an apology before the judge in open court, and more to the point were compelled to publish grovelling FRONT PAGE apologies in both national titles this morning. The Daily Express and the Star have a combined daily circulation of 1,400,000 and a readership of over three million.

Click here for the Independent newspaper's report on the matter... (The Daily Express and Star are mysteriously not googlable this evening...) I got the article from the Express online via msn; but on further clicking "the article ... may have been deleted"...

OK post over. I'm off to SLEEP... I've not slept properly since Sunday...

GOOD NEWS for an Australian lady in Hanoi, Vietnam. She got caught with about 3kg of heroin in her shoes (must have had a very funny walk; you imagine 3 bags of sugar in YOUR shoes...) a high court has downgraded the life sentence she was inconveniently awarded into a sentence of death... why on earth people think life is "merciful" but death "cruel" I fail to comprehend... the British prison service are especially pervy... keeping double child killer Ian Huntley alive after two (rather pathetic, it has to be said) suicide attempts... if death is so against "human rights" why not have an elective death penalty? Where anyone sentenced to life can make the decision to die at any point during their sentence and be permanently out cold within the hour? Now THAT is civilized for ya...


MOUNTAINOUS COUNTRY... lack of recent peace... taken over so many say by a country soon to have Olympics, though the country soon to have Olympics has, so I hear always thought of the mountainous land as an annexe... to see recent pixx click here

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Plotting... (& "only" $50million!)

NOT MY WIZZY NEW NOVEL, I'm afraid; though I wish it was. I've been plotting the course of what might eventually become part of another book (if it gets into my memoirs)... And that is: my FUTURE.

I sat up for what seemed like hours last night, penning all manner of conceptions to paper...

I would particularly like to set up a Gledwood podcast. Surely that's the way forward for "freestyling" radio these days rather than taking the hospital or pirate radio route...

(Just what would I cast about? Not more hamsters and heroin; it has to be grown-up stuff...)

Well that's about it. No point telling ideas before they're done. That's called "fiction" or, to put it perhaps more kindly; tends to turn into "plans never executed"... I'm only into planning the future present. The only kind of planning worth doing!


AND I NEARLY FORGOT! LEGAL EVENT OF THE YEAR: Heather Mills McCartney yesterday obtained a £24.3 million (ie $50 million give or take a couple of months' interest) divorce settlement from Sir Paul.

The press have had a field day baring all of Miss Mills's "porno past" etc. Even the judge insisted on taking the slightly unusual step of making his decision public... his judgement branded her an "unreliable witness"... and awarded her a fifth of the alleged £125/$250million she had claimed from Sir Paul's £400/$800 fortune (though the press have claimed he is worth double that...)

Poor Heather Mills. Though I'm hardly her biggest fan I don't hate her as the tabloid press do... If you click on this link the full tabloid post mortem plus some lovely photos should pop up, showing her seemingly utterly deranged. The press are so clever at getting these. My diagnosis is of a single-minded lady of great determination whose mind has become focused on this divorce to the exclusion of nearly all else: which has led her to become over-wrought... so over-wrought, in fact that as soon as the case was over she allegedly ran up to Sir Paul's lawyer and doused her over the head with mineral water (it was a posh brand though).

Hopefully Miss Mills and her $50million can now move on to fresh pastures and poor Sir Paul can retire in peace to his Scottish hideaway and live out the rest of his days $50million poorer, but with $750million still intact...

American "high end" motorhomes
(poshest personal coaches I've ever seen: these are fantastic... if you could get one shipped over you could have SUCH a lark driving around Europe in one... (so much more glamorous, as I said in their comments than camping in the awning of a shivery 1960s Dormabile!!!)

BLOG II Spanish-seeming person's Wales-looking photos...

PS why are Chinese and Japanese schoolgirls into such candy-coloured kitch like this..?

Monday, March 17, 2008

Tubby Diggery

MY TROTTEROVSKIS went visiting Mother Hubbs's house yesterday... stashed in the lollypop jar, filled nearly to the brim with woodshavings and multipunctured with airholes on the bottom... They were installed upside-down because the lid is bright red and impenetrable by anything much short of a red hot poker (btw did you know the English King Edward II died in 1327 with one of those up the you-know-where..! True!!)... anyway it was like a living version of one of those glass domes the Victorians so loved to store dead things under... Though most of the time little was to be seen except agitatedly shifting sawdust... then every now and then one tubby trotter would poke her head up; followed by another.... Then her tubby bum would vanish back into the shavings and the other follow directly down...

Mother Hubbs is funny. On the one hand she wanted to show my "living ornament" directly to the cat who was most astounded and sneaked round and round it making me feel very nervous (though the tubberovskis were taped in and closely supervised: I know all the kitty-trixx: like waiting till your back's turned (so you can't I even took them to the loo with me) then knocking the whole thing down so it springs open ~ ta-daa! And three-times cat heaven emerges pinging into the shadows... So that made me just slightly on edge though I knew they were perfectly safe. Then she started fretting about whether or not they had enough air. Of course they did!

But we ended up rather farcically blowing in air through a drinking straw... Which if anything, I'd imagine would only INCREASE the carbon dioxide levels... though I'm no expert. It did seem rather over the top but Mother Hubbs has an obsessive nature like me and once she's got a bee in her bonnet she cannot stop buzzing...

In fact, before long all three simply fell asleep right in the middle of the diggery (a real burrow for once! What hamster luxury!!)... though only TWO ever emerged. In paranoia I tore the thing opened, only for a bleary-eyed Spherical to emerge from the very bottom, where she had slumbered in seclusion for two hours flat (and probably been nibbling on the red binkybonk things: moulded uppydowny recesses for the shopkeeper to stand lollies upright atop the closed jar as a sales display... THAT is what most probably attracted her down (I know the hamster brain!)... also the relative peace and quiet. She's an old momma, is Spherical. Doesn't like needless excitement of any kind. Meanwhile the other two were going mental digging up then down, then together in a chain. Then popping up sawdust-covered heads and looking surprised to have got nowhere!

We had a yummy Sunday lunch and smoked lots of real cigarettes (not nasty rollups like I normally do. Mother Hubbard is very posh (well, compared to me; as are most people haha!))... then Bashful and Itchy persisted in scrabbling against the top of their dome as if they were bored and had had enough so I took them home. Not before causing a spectacle amongst some young children on the bus... so that was MY Sunday... and how was yours..??

Tubby chocolate mice...
Amazingly fluorescent coloured smoke...
Beautiful hotair baloons...
Rainbowtastic paintings from Spain...


Ever heard of a natural phenomenon called a "fire rainbow"?
Click to see it: they DO exist and that's a fantastic specimen!!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Radio Sunday

MOST PEOPLE SPEND SUNDAYS putting up shelves, baking cakes... (OK ladies not cakes: I mean peeling potatoes while the Archers omnibus is on, lighting the oven during Desert Island Discs and sweating away over a hot stove doing ye olde Sunday roast all afternoon... whereas I have made a short and selected (though it seemed to take up best part of an hour) international talk radio guide... really I did it for myself and have Australia's Radio National playing in my ear as I speak (barely past midday here: approaching midnight there. So you can listen to any of these selected stations including the best of the BBC live through your PC simply by clicking your option and selecting "listen live"... except for BBC7 (mostly plays, comedy and audiobook type readings) which asks you to "select player" I use Windows' own player and it works fine on this one...

All that talk of food and I'm hungry... must go! Have a cheery Sunday everyone... unless you're in Australia in which case you'll have 22 minutes left as it's 12:38here meaning it's 11:38pm there (though what timezone he's chatting for I've no idea...) OK must be going... bye!

PS I didn't make airholes in the lollypop jar because (1) the lid was far too thick with binkybonky up-and-down poggled indents in the top in which to stand your lollies for display... I could make holes in the bottom and invert it on them and maybe I will... it's just I realized this will make it useless for the subsequent storing of anything airtight in later days e.g. my spices or something like that well I don't know I have to go my brain feels like a rotten apple core...

PPS: the world's best radio programme in my opinion is Outlook on the BBC world service. If you clickonit you can listen again they always have good stuff on... I think Heather Payton has the friendliest (and Australian-accented, incidentally) voice on the radio...

SONG: Madonna: Who's That Girl...

Saturday, March 15, 2008

ROBO-BURROWING! // Hamster-Keeping!

FOUND AN EMPTY LOLLYPOP JAR last night... it was about 6" (15cm) wide by about 9" or 10" (about 25cm) deep... I filled this two thirds full of woodshavings and plonked my three robbies on top... at first they tubbily trotted round and round like a tubby horserace (always clockwise:... dunno why? Is this something to do with the Northern Hemisphere and the way our water gurgles down the plughole? Or what? But they always ramble round in that fashion...

Spherical was first to use the initiative to dig ~ clever girl! I quite easily got the others to join in by simply inverting the entire container on their heads so the old top was the new bottom... and in a jiffy I had three burrowing tubbies. Spherical still showed a distinct lead, digging persistently and profoundly deeper than the rest and staying under for far longer... as if she'd been a deepsea diver in a "past life"..!

Although they had well over a litre of air in there (for three rodents weighing barely 100g between them)... this would surely have lasted them an hour, lid closed (no breathing holes) but my paranoia forced me to open it up every five minutes or so... which had all three trotters scrabblilng up towards the light...

I also kept turning it this way and that way up, to keep the burrows fresh... this sometimes produced some quite amazing natural caves, which Baby Itchy used to sit up in, washing her ears!

Then I had all three trotting in a row, the lollyjar rotating like a tumble dryer, woodshavings heaping deep on their heads as they went...


ALL hamsters originate from some of the harshest conditions in the world... at both extremes. The "great regular" two-thirds-of-a-rat-sized Syrian hamster (as in my "avatar" self-portrait...) is in the wild a severely endangered species. As far as is known, less than a hundred burrows exist in the wild, in the deserts near Aleppo, which is by the Syrian-Turkish border in the hostile scorpion-ridden Middle-Eastern wilderness...

Pingpong, my Chinese hamster,
comes from the naturally most clement conditions: that is, the woods and mountains of nothern China. He has specially adapted wrists and feet to be able to hold onto your hand or any branch, tree or other climbable support and adeptly scale up.... to the uninitiated he looks like a mouse, only his body is nearly twice as long as a mouse's (coat the same colour though... with a marked "dorsal" backstripe...) Like the European woodmouse he has large markedly hemispherical poppy eyes, but unlike the droplet-shaped woodmouse, Pingpong's body is elongated like an eel almost... which is why I call him a "furry goods train"...

My old two Russian hamsters were actually of two species: the ordinary Russian or Siberian hamsters in most American petshops are called Campbells (the "condensed hamster")... less than half the size of the tubby regular hamster, these come in a wide variety of coat colours and have remarkably soft fur... to keep Russian hamsters' fur at its best it is recommended to provide a bowl full of sand or chinchilla dust for regular dust-bathing... these animals love this! And it keeps their coats in tip-top condition... European petshops almost always sell so-called "winter whites" ... these being grey or albino with a marked dorsal stripe and stripes down each flank. They don't come in a wide variety of colours but have a hippo-shaped squarer head than the Campbells and are said to have a better temperament (which I certainly found to be true! My Campbells was most "assertive"... forever spinning round threatening to nip me upon picking him up! The swine!! If you keep a winter white Russian hamster in a naturally lit room with little or no artificial light at night time (e.g. in a child's bedroom) his fur will naturally go a white colour ... to blend in with the deep snows of Eastern Siberia... (which is one of the coldest places on earth, and where the Siberian or Russian hamsters come from...)

Russian hamsters do not like and cannot comfortably tolerate high summer temperatures, so if your home exceeds 30C or 85F in summertime you'll notice your poor hammies lying flat out panting... so adapted to the permafrosted Siberian ground are they that even the soles of their feet are fur-covered. One blazing hot day I took pity on my poor little swines and let them ramble in the (at the time food-free) icebox of my fridge... unbelievably they rambled about the ice-sheet quite comfortably, suddenly perking up from their summer near-death-seeming repose... I made them a little nest; propped the fridge door open to avoid any possibility of suffocation and allowed them to chill out in the most literal sense!

The roborovski hamsters come from the outskirts of the Gobi desert where summer temperatures reach blazing highs and, without their tubby fat reserves and wooly coats, winters would chill them to the bone. Like hamsters of many kinds, robos do not have constant or reliable supplies of water in their home environment; rather they lick the morning dew from rocks, or eat greens for moisture. This is no reason to deprive roborovskis of water however. Domesticated hamsters are accustomed to bottled water being there at all times and to remove this would be an act of cruelty.

Robos are the smallest, fastest (and wriggliest) of all hamster species... and are widely regarded to be the most pretty... They form strong social groups and bonds in pairs or groups of up to four (I have heard that larger groups can cause problems with pecking order, domineering, bullying and fighting...) more than any other hammies, the robbies will tend to perform activities together... and though all hammies are described as "inquisitive", robbies take the biscuit in this regard. Put a new toy in their home and, even if fast asleep at midday, the chances are that within five minutes they'll be pinging out, sniffing, exploring, jumping, rambling and entertaining themselves all over it..! Roborovskis are quite possibly the most entertaining of all small animals and their antics never cease to amuse. They do, however startle VERY easily, and it's quite normal for them to panic, even if you just put your hand in their tank. One day they might come up to sniff you: another they might flee in sheer terror. These are very tiny, flighty animals who do not really like being handled, though you may be able to tame one or more of your brood to walk on your hands. Just beware: they are apt to jump on the floor without warning! And are VERY difficult to recapture. For this reason the roborovski hamster, though ever so cute, isn't really a suitable pet for most small children...

All hamsters live in burrows during the daylight hours
, though they are not necessarily asleep when in the burrow. Much of the day is spent grooming the self and others (Russian and roborovski hamsters live in social groups; male Chinese hamsters, so I'm told, may be paired but must be closely watched for fighting; Syrian hamsters of both sexes are highly territorial and will not share a burrow with another hamster. They only interact with their own species in order to breed: and even then (in captivity) an issue of Vanity Fair magazine is essential to prevent the female spinning round after the act to bite her stud partner where it hurts most of all...!)

Hammies are no longer considered merely children's pets.
In this age of the flat or apartment-dwelling twentysomething, hammies are perhaps the easiest-going and least demanding of pets to those following the modern lifestyle.

The regular "Syrian" hamster is the most strictly nocturnal of all pet hamster species and will tend to rise at dusk, yawn, stretch, wash, then climb on his wheel (an ESSENTIAL for all hammy species)... which he might well ramble constantly until dawn... perhaps running upto eight miles (12km) in a single night...!

Russian, Chinese and roborovski hamsters are more likely to be active during the daytime... they tend to catnap then get up for short periods... then maybe go to sleep again... Still, they all prefer the hours of darkness to light.

If you wish to observe your hammies in "pitch darkness" you need to know that a red "fireglow" bulb is invisible to hamster eyes, just as infra-red is invisible to us. So instal a red light beside their home and you'll witness their full furry ferocity as they recklessly ramble the night away...

One last tip: if keeping hammies in a bedroom, an aquarium-type enclosure will be much quieter and less annoying than a barred cage. Constant gnawing at the bars is a sign of hammy frustration meaning you need to give your little pet or pets more toys and more things to do. But all hammies do this from time to time...

Likewise there is NO REASON why you should put up with a wheel that squeaks, shrieks or otherwise makes unduly intrusive trundling noises. Most noisy wheels can be rapidly remedied with a blob of butter or marge or a drop of cooking oil...

So here's the Gledwood's hammy advice... get a hammy and add endless entertainment to your life!!

Forgot to mention: Most wheels sold for Syrian hamsters are actually too small to allow your hammy to stretch out and run full-tilt. A rat wheel is far more suitable. Also, though it would seem logical that a solid plastic wheel would be preferred; when given the choice some of my hamsters actually opted for a wire wheel. Perhaps because it gives the impression of climbing bars very quickly..? I don't know. I'd also say that most hammy homes, though fine for the dwarf species really are a little tiny for a full-grown Syrian hamster. I kept my Pandable in a 2'6"x 1' (floor area) by 18" deep cracked old fishtank rescued from the street. (That is 75cm x 30cm; x 45cm deep). Also he ran (VERY QUICKLY; far quicker than on any "hamster wheel") on an expensive wire rat wheel with a 10" or 12" diameter (I think it was 12") that is 30cm. When I took him to my Dad's he had to go in the dreaded mouse cage fitted with a wheel of half diameter. He advertised his disgust by nibbling furiously at the bars all night, every night until safely back home in his aquarium...


MANY THANKS for all your moral support regarding my tribulations and trials of life... your comments have all been much appreciated... I only apologize how long it's taken to get back personally to each and every one of you... please bear with me and do not be offended! I try to keep in touch with my every single contact as often as I possibly can! And on that note I say goodbye for now: and I hope to be in touch with y'all as soon as possible!

My new radio station of the day: 4BC Brisbane 1116 (Queensland, Australia) ... it's 9:48pm London time but I take it very early in the morning out there... everyone sounds so sleepy... they're talking about lawn mowings and "fruit fly traps"... (whatever those are...~?!?)

Their telno is 13 13 32 (international code for Down Under is +61 far as I know; haven't a clue what's the code for Brisbane....)

Found another one 2GB Sydney... but they're both prattling on about GARDENING... at this hour (to them) of the morning... why?

OK, OK, found another one: 2UE Sydney... but they're blithering on about sport! And it's not that EARLY they're "coming up to the nine o'clock news" and it's 10pm here...


PS Anonymous told me a far better radio station: ABC's (that's AUSTRALIAN Broadcasting Corporation's) Radio National. If you've never done it before and want to listen just click on the name, find "listen live"; click on that; it prompts you to "select your player" I chose Windows. And on you go.

(Once the radio's up and playing to your satisfaction, just "minimize" that window... and you can roam about the internet wherever you please with uninterrupted entertainment streaming through your headphones or speakers...)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Furry Future

HAVING THOUGHT ABOUT THE FUTURE, my mind turned to pets. I have always wanted to get a giant rabbit, you know, the sort you can put in a harness and take out for a trot each morning (a hop, perhaps...)... then I think: hey what about a pika~?!? But you can't really get domesticated pikas (those giant hamster-like critters that live up the Rockies and bound about with flowers and grass bunched in their mouths) they are, apparently, too likely to bite (who does THAT remind me of..?) Then I come to realize in that case I might as well get the world's furriest animal, which looks like a rabbit from Mars into the bargain: yes the amazing chinchilla! They run on 16" diameter wheels and watch television in their spare time. If you haven't got satellite or get the channel or volume wrong they'll protest with a squeak... (click here and scroll down if you don't believe me!)

Then I realized I already have the world's cutest rodents: my three trotterovskis. Surely if a rodent beauty contest were held my three would win..?

When I was first a drug addict my family used to despair that they just wanted the old me back. I, to be frank, was happy to be killing him off: a millstone of a personality I'd tolerated round my neck all my life I'd grown up being told I was useless at school (not by the teachers: I mean the other pupils) and so learned self-loathing... So I had no sorrow for any personality my addiction to heroin might have "lost"...

... now, however, I do look back at some of my good points of old. I remember pushing myself through several situations (job interview type occasions etc) where I was so nervous my voice literally declined into a kind of bleat because I was trembling so much. And yet I pushed myself through. And how I did have some stubbornness and moral "fibre" (if you want to call it that)... and determination. Sometimes I want to get these aspects of the old me back, plant them in a pot like seeds and grow giant sequoias of them...

Wasn't I barking on yeserday! Like a twelve year old kiddie in a sweetshop!! I did achieve something. What I achieved was the near total (and utterly unexpected) demolition of my long- longstanding fear ~ nay, TERROR ~ of work.

Don't get me wrong; I've never been "workshy" in the sense of laziness. (Though like anyone I can be terminally lazy at selected times...) If only I could work and feel good about it and be well paid, I'd have been happy. My fear stems from bad experience. The experience of being hopelessly depressed and yet flung into work and social situations I could barely cope with (I literally had not enough hours in the day at one point to sleep, bathe and eat before getting back to start work again...)... my selfconfidence was at rock bottom and never really improved from any work experience I undertook, paid or voluntary. My last job I felt so very rotten I just wanted to curl into a ball. I could barely focus on anything I was that exhausted. I used to gaze longingly out of the stairwell windows and fantasize about flinging myself out. And I pushed and pushed and pushed against myself and only made myself iller. Then I discovered I really did have something wrong: it was called ME (so-called myalgic encephalomyelitis; though I hate that name) it is better known internationally as chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) which I believe is a more accurate description... this was the same so-called "yuppie flu" of the 1980s: and it does tend to afflict people who, far from being lazy at heart, will push themselves too hard...

Then I got signed off sick... drifted... found that heroin "cured" not only my terminal lack of confidence, but all my physical aches too... and my world pretty much ended there.

All I can say is that yesterday I felt I glimpsed a vision through a very narrow crack of a newly-opened door...

Dolly Parton: Jolene (listen to the chat she gives beforehand; it's classic!)

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

I Did It!

I DID IT! Yes I did it! I actually went in there and did not bottle out. How amazing! Everyone DID look at me like: who the hell is THAT?? But I ignored their visual jibes and gratefully took a free glass of red wine (a black woman had white: everyone else had boring old orange juice. ORANGE JUICE ~ to go on air? Honestly!)

We got split into groups. My group was the smallest, consisting of a tiny 40 or 50something year old man who is such a regular caller all the staff knew him. Plus a fat couple from Essex, with very Essexey (that is out-of-town suburban) values and opinions. Not a single person ventured to make any eyecontact or friendship with me (as expected).

While the other lot got a guided tour round the station, we were shoved straight in a studio with a mike at every chair and though it wasn't a fluent discussion, various topics, shows, presenters were brought forth. Three of us out of four looked extremely selfconscious (self included). I died on myself twice. Literally froze from nerves; had to fish myself out (very adeptly so, as well ~ if I say so myself...). I knew this was never meant to be live or even live sounding. They only wanted people's voices to mix into different adverts, trailers, soundbites and all that rubbish, so I wasn't fazed in that respect, and as I said I did fish myself out.

I hope they don't use any of my contribution. At the end we had to say each of us alone "this is blah blah blah radio". I put on my answering machine voice and made the fart woman (typo! but she was one) look at me all different...

Then, traumas over we got a tour of the building by the second in command boss at the station. I noticed he was as badly shaved as I had been before I took razor to face this afternoon. I asked all the most cogent, intelligent, diverse and basically spot-on questions so he spoke to me practically the whole time instead of the useless rest of the rabble (I don't know about you: but don't YOU notice who someone's talking to, when you and someone, or many other people are introduced to a person of note..? I ALWAYS do....)

I took his name, got free mugs and fridge magnets. Security (for once in my life) treated me like a human being and not a theif they just hadn't managed to nail (as I usually get treated by security guards)... out on the street I cheerily said "see you on the radio then!" to the fat pair; they looked at me like well we hope we never cast eyes on YOU again but forced sneering snorts of smiles.

And then I trotted the ten minutes to my bus stop feeling a job had been well done.

I got the deputy station controller's attention, I went in the building. I wouldn't be half as nervous there again (specially seeing how causual they were all turned out!)... I didn't ask about internships (asking TONIGHT had never been on the cards ~ I did try to make that clear)... yeah and blah blah blah ~ wahey! I did it!!!!!!

PS THE ANTIPERSPIRANT (badly-needed) body spray I bought smells so pukeworthy that in this netcaff cubicle the overpowering pong is seriously threatening to make me THROW UP...

Washing/Drying/Et Cetera-ing...

POST-BATH PRE-CLOTHES... OK I'm writing this in a hurry... was unable to post anything last night as fast asleep in post-shopping-for-deodorant-etc exhaustion coma...

Many thanks for all your messages of support. I've not been able to check every one yet as at the present moment I'm rather hurried between just having bathed (woo!), washing clothes in the one local laundrette (that's a laundromat to you Americans) with a spin-dryer (saves a fortune on the dryers!) I painstakingly shaved this morning... actually that's not the right word. Painstaking implies care. My experience was painful, impatient, full of mental negativity and physical blood from my chin.

But the usually-surly man at the end of my road said hello to my fresh-faced self this afternoon... plus I look nearly ten years younger... so maybe it was worth all the effort after all...

All this costing me a tenner I would otherwise have donated to my usual cause... feels so very unusual..!

Anyway, once clothes done (my hair washed, face shaved, clothes will be clean and dry including dirty old winter coat) I shall be ready about two hours ahead of time... wow!

I have the address, the main (ie business switchboard for important people not just bigots who want to spout off on air) telephone number and can get there on one single bus plus a ten minutes (tops) walk.

Barring earthquake or terrorist attack I SHALL BE THERE. Prattling in the mike about whatever floats their broadcasting boat...

yeah I still have very %skewed% glasses, my teeth are brown (at least they are THERE; unlike many a junkie I could mention)... and so on and so on. Right I'm off. If I don't dash back some particularly desperate person (well they really would have to be) might steal my clothes from the soon-dormant washing machine!

Video of the Day:
Gabriella Cilmi: SWEET ABOUT ME
Have a listen... this is one of the great songs of the year!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Radio Gledwood¬!

PHONE CALL FROM THE RADIO TODAY offering free red wine if I come in with other prized telephone contributors to go under the mic and testify how wonderful we find the show!!

I took the call in full chirping enthusiasm, saying how much I loved the presenter in question etc, not realizing at the time how every statement I made was a tick tick tick (that's a "check" to you Americans) in the mental boxes of "valued contribution-worthy listener"... I was actually being upbeat in case I'd won a million-pound cash prize. Sadly not. but I claimed I was all up for meeting with other listeners, big fat microphones and some of "the team" at such and such a time on WEDNESDAY. Which doesn't give me too much time to fret about which pair of diarrhoea-stained jeans and smelly holey socks I'm going to wear...

My initial reaction was "I CAN'T GO!" Even when I try and clean myself up I look... well I look like what I am. No contact lenses and lgasses on the skew like a walking %percentage%-sign...

Then I thought why NOT? Obviously make the effort but come as you are.

Then I thought HEY ~ hang on, I could apply for a work experience/internship here. I don't know how to explain a TWELVE YEAR GAP in my employment history ~ except by declaring the truth: that years of illness (depression and chronic fatigue syndrome CFS topped with drug addiction) threw me off course.

Maybe I could vanilla it all out, make it all anodyne and acceptable. But then I thought: hang on, talk radio is about human situations. If I'm used to life on the frontline ~ people ill, diseased, abused, uncared-for, insulted and injured and dying ~ and can meet their tales with empathy and warmth, why should I lie on my CV or resume or application?

As a writer of memoirs, I can hardly reveal all in print, yet lie on my CV and on air, can I? In the end, there can only be one truth, and as the (Biblical, I'm pretty sure,) saying goes: Be sure your sins will find you out!

Perhaps I seem a bit glib at times, a little too ready to spout out all about my disgusting injecting heroin habit. But I'm not proud of it at all. I merely made my decision, many moons ago, to be straight with people online and on this blog... otherwise imagine how it might go? Me making friends the world over under totally false pretences... I'd be leading a double life even more than usual.

Like a house of cards, such fragile situations are apt to come tumbling down at the very first sneeze...

In real life, people see me and know that something ~ they may not grasp precisely what ~ but they realize something's up, not right, quite frankly all wrong... Online I might prattle about hamsters, homes, politics, etc: nobody would be any the wiser. And yet friendships might grow, relationships be cherished... and all under totally false pretences.

If I can possibly avoid it, I'm really not one for living out a lie.

OK tangent over.

Back to the radio.
What should I do? Do I turn up to this drinks and "recording how brilliant I think the show is" soundbite evening?

And do I apply for this internship? And if so, how do I handle my past?

Please: I need some experienced advice!

Song of the Day:
Captain Sensible: Glad It's All Over


21:16hrs COLD FEET!
I'M TOO SCARED TO GO! I DON'T WANT TO SET A BAD IMPRESSION. I don't have nice clothes (really don't)... no confidence at ALL in my appearance. My hair needs cutting.
I desperately need (a) contact lenses or (b) a proper pair of glasses that don't need a hat to sit vaguely straight on my head (that's how bashed up my current glasses are ...) I only TOOK to wearing glasses because of rock-bottom self-esteeem (I feel about 10% as good in them as I do in contacts)... it all feels too rushed, too early. The internship/work experience is a totally different issue: I've obviously set a good enough impression on air; I really feel (no exaggeration) that I would destroy this if I admitted who I was in person and I won't meet the producer tomorrow but some other person.

The two issues:
A) recording praise and
B) applying for work experience
are totally separate. The latter is my focus.

You're all sure I should be 100% frank? I could fudge my career "gap" by saying I'd been travelling and working fleamarkets in Goa and Thailand and no-one could prove otherwise; but as I said earlier, I'm writing memoirs that will tell everything. In the long run I don't see any gain from lying (and hate doing it)... my bad experiences might stand me in good stead

aargh I don't know what to do I'm not dying of pressure to turn up tomorrow (it IS just a thing to record listener soundbites that is ALL) I don't know I don't know I don't know I don't know I don't know aaarghkkkhhh! Maybe I will bring Baby Itchy in my pocket. She can bite me for good luck...

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Tyrannical Itchy Rex & Hurricane Alert...

I AM SO ASHAMED... but I have to get this shocking tale told as quick as poss ~ to get it over with.

Yes Itchy is turning into a real tyrant: she bit me last night! And drew blood!!

I had a bucket of lukewarm (clean) water out and was so furious I dropped her in it.

She doggiepaddled desperately (as expected) then bobbed under which panicked me. I rapidly fished her out. And there she sat all tiny-looking, wet and miserably bedraggled in my hand (which she tried to bite again!) then shrouded and swathed in warming scarves and towels of various kinds for a long while. I burst into tears and rather pointlessly told her how sorry I was (as if she comprehended one single word)~ and felt contrite for ages. What an evil thing to do... but then again Itchy what is WRONG with you? I think she finally has cracked (well I hope not... but what else? She squabbles with her sisters... she's a real rotter trotter!

She is in disgrace in a toilet tube as I write...

Other news: a "hurricane" is forecast locally for tonight (the "worst one in a generation (except we don't get cyclones here: our storms are hot and cold fronts where low pressure causes the sea to rise and wind to come rushing in. When the isobars are packed tightly together on the weather chart that means bad news on the shipping forecast! They are "gales" not hurricanes. The windspeeds are pitifully meagre in comparison... barely 100mph let alone the 200mph of a proper category five superstorm...)) anyhow... sandbags are being delivered... If I fail to write tomorrow it's because London has been blown away...

PS: I only didn't write last night because bloody BLOGGER was down for TWO HOURS last night making any posting impossible? Did anybody else have such troubles? They occurred around 6pm local time...

Friday, March 07, 2008

Crossing the Water

I HAVE ITCHY FEET. Telling me to get the hell out of here. To clean up, ship out, escape... to give you a clue where, the above illustrations represent: top~ Berlin Hauptbahnhof (their new Grand Central railway station) left~ La Défense (Paris's office building that echoes the Arc de Triomphe (and is further along, if you fly off the end of the Champs Elysées) right~ Berliner Reichstag (German national parliament building, including whizzy glass dome installed by Sir Norman Foster)...

(And the very top two: surely you know!)

Yes I actually want to be an immigrant.
And there are two versions of my fantasy: the metropolitan fantasy ~ which is trundle off to Paris or Berlin and set down there.

Or the village fantasy: living in a French or German version of the Archers (Radio 4's "everyday story of countryfolk")... I'm not too sure about the latter as bountiful as the countryside is (central France was amazing: like Britain crossed with Mediterranean weather ~ crickets singing all night, glow-worms in the bushes, giant hornets (yuck!) and luminous green frogs in the river... the weather was a lot more tolerable (and the thunderstorms more spectacular)... I seemed to live on French bread (OK well it wouldn't have been English bread, would it?), soft cheeses and red plonk for three weeks... quite wonderful.

I won't spend ages and ages trying to justify my decision. Just bear in mind I do speak French and German to a stunted degree... in that I did A Levels in both, but a year in either country and I actually would be fluent. Being a stranger in a strange land, so I have found is far less lonely than uprooting in one's own country, where you could wander like a shadow and nobody would talk to you... soon as people realized I was English (soon as I opened my mouth in other words even though I WAS attempting my best accent) half the village were saying hello whenever I passed by. Also I thrive on novelty and I mean it when I say there really is NOWHERE else I think I could possibly tolerate in this green and pleasant land except for London, where of course I already am... London full of drugs.

Yes drugs are everywhere: but I am not the type to travel in search of pharmacalogical pastures new. My using is geographically ultra-conservative. I don't trust people I don't know. Don't take chances. Stick to old friends, old dealers, old haunts... crossing the water means looking at the finish-line not the hurdles:~

Crossing the water is for life anew; not a refusing-to-die abscess-ridden limping-on still-addicted foreign-flavoured continuation of the old one!

I would not even consider going unless I were well and truly CLEAN!


OK: I tried 77WABC again (what IS the 77? There is no frequency 77 on long, medium, shortwave or FM: and digital doesn't use frequencies...)... every presenter seems to be a more intelligent version of Rush Limbaugh (surely Limbaugh is the thickest...) I tried ANOTHER email to Curtis Sliwa on his breakfast show (it was mid afternoon here)... in reply to his ranting over how grainy the CCTV pix of that Times Square attempted bombing turned out and how much more precisely the British 7/7 bombers were captured on camera:

Hi Curtis: London calling. {My standard hackneyed international greeting...} I'm listening online.

Here in the UK we have more security cameras by a long way than anywhere else on earth... about 4million of 'em. The average citizen gets filmed x300 a day... though we sometimes feel this a bit of an intrusion on our liberties, you're quite right: when murder, carnage and major events do happen, the police collect not only publically filmed images but stuff from shops, businesses, etc (literally cameras are everywhere here!) and it has got loads of baddies busted.

Great show!

{then, ten mins later; my ps}

(further to my previous message)

ps it's past 3:30pm here... don't be behind times with your security as well. Yes our images probably are better than yours because CCTV has long been a regular part of life here and we have special digital enhancement technology. That's why you see the terrorists' zits!

07 March 2008 15:37

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Trotters' TV/Hillary yeah-yeah-yeah!

I SNAPPED MYSELF OUT OF my nightly tailspin last night by positioning Itchy, Bashful and Spherical's home (burrow-side first) right before me, to be instantly entertained by their sleepytime hilarity. (I call it sleepytime: typically one is scratching furiously at the glass floor, as if this will magically enlarge their newspaper-fold "burrow", another is fast asleep but sat bolt upright and the third crawling, living-hat-like atop this one's head in a bid to get out for a trot on the wheel. When I disturbed them earlier by pulling the blanket off their home two tubbies were trotting rapidly on the wheel... and the third ('most certainly poor light Baby Itchy) was flashing round and round and round her Daz-white undercarriage as she clung onto the wire wheel for dear life, the heavier trotters thundering obliviously onwards as she exhibited this dizzying robo-fortitude...

Yes the most horrible thoughts go through my head nightly nowadays... I was going to post them but thought I would save you the silt-stirring mud-kicking of a disturbed subconscious...

What I will tell you is my dream. It seems sick at first hearing, surely; but was actually heavily symbolic... I mean, if I tell you I dreamed I was squeezing my own mother's breast would you think that sick?... Nothing "sexual" about this... And bear in mind that she had breast cancer little more than a year ago; I've had these pussing "wounds" that I've squeezed the poison out of. (I disagree with my drugs worker that squeezing the huge wet-scabbed lump on my arm was of little use: genuinely within 2 days of my kneeding at the lump (which I'd previously left alone) it went down, which shows that I must have squeezed the poison up and out.) So by squeezing this breast I was ridding her of illness... which is an obvious wish-fulfilment... OK, still seems weird I grant you, but do you get how the subconscious goes in circles, that a plain "weird" dream has a genuine meaning behind it? I woke up straight away thinking what was that about? ~ and the above answer came directly to mind. The most instant interpretations tend to be the truest interpretations of dreams, so I've found...

And on the subject of oddness: no that was NOT my leg pictured yesterday. As if! My legs are far bulkier than that. The hairs would NOT look good under stockings. And I've never worn a stilletto in my life (would probably fall off; that's if they could find my gargantuan size...)

That dreadful Rush Limbaugh FAILED to read my email in the TWO HOURS I dutifully tuned into his boresome show. Honestly. For the first HOUR the guy just prattled out his unoriginal opinions. Then he let a few callers on who proudly proclaimed stuff like: "I'm from Texas and I'm a conservative," as if that would impress anyone (are people honestly that insecure in their political views that they need to endure an endlessly bigotted show like this patting them on the back "there there; you're not alone, there ARE others who think like you..."...? I mean..? This Rush Limbo-Dancer whatever he calls himself was declaring Hilary and Obama will end up on a joint ticket (as long as Obama's for VICE-president to let experienced Hillary do the real work that sounds brilliant to me) he said this will shoot the Democrats in the foot. How, why, wherefore he did not venture to explain. The guy's not even articulate... what on earth he's doing on national radio I really do not know. Can anyone enlighten me? Please...??!?

... Poor Hillary is still one hundred or so what-jer-mer-call-it nomination votes behind Obama... OK I have nothing against the guy but what does he stand for? Except for being a charismatic rather circuitous public speaker? Who glitters wondrously forth on the American dream and all that's good as mother's apple pie. But what about the economy? What about foreign powers who want to deny America their oil?

OK I admit I DO relish the prospect of Bill Clinton hosting First Lady coffee mornings for skeletal couture-outfitted 80-year old billionaires' wives socialites (isn't that what first ladies traditionally do?) or playing his sax on the Letterman show... well what else is he going to fill his time with... really having lived under a figure as controversial but as able as Margaret Thatcher (and I certainly do NOT agree with perhaps half her policies and actions) I'd love to see what Hillary does or does not do for America.

Well I'd better shut up now... Bimbimbie said I ought to kit out in cheerleader's uniform to chant my Hillary Hillary Hillary praises... what has got hold of me? She's the only candidate in ANY election (including the sappy choice of candidates we get over here) who's ever aroused even the vaguest of political passions from my acheing old bones...

... righto I really had better go I've food shopping to do and bandages to change. Take care everyone!

Video: On the Rocks ~ the American Pika

Blog of the day:
Costa Rica (including bizarre cows...)



Heroin Shortage: News

If you are looking for the British Heroin Drought post, click here; the latest word is in the comments.

Christiane F

"Wir, Kinder vom Bahnhoff Zoo" by "Christiane F", memoir of a teenage heroin addict and prostitute, was a massive bestseller in Europe and is now a set text in German schools. Bahnhoff Zoo was, until recently, Berlin's central railway station. A kind of equivalent (in more ways than one) to London's King's Cross... Of course my local library doesn't have it. So I'm going to have to order it through a bookshop and plough through the text in German. I asked my druggieworker Maple Syrup, who is Italiana how she learned English and she said reading books is the best way. CHRISTIANE F: TRAILER You can watch the entire 120-min movie in 12 parts at my Random blog. Every section EXCEPT part one is subtitled in English (sorry: but if you skip past you still get the gist) ~ to watch it all click HERE.

To See Gledwood's Entire Blog...

DID you find my blog via a Google or other search? Are you stuck on a post dated some time ago? Do you want to read Gledwood Volume 2 right from "the top" ~ ie from today?
If so click here and you'll get to the most recent post immediately!

Drugs Videos

Most of these come from my Random blog, which is an electronic scrapbook of stuff I thought I might like to view at some time or other. For those who want to view stuff on drugs I've collected the very best links here. Unless otherwise stated these are full-length features, usually an hour or more.

If you have a slow connexion and are unused to viewing multiscreen films on Youtube here's what to do: click the first one and play on mute, stopping and starting as it does. Then, when it's done, click on Repeat Play and you get the full entertainment without interruption. While you watch screen one, do the same to screens 2, 3 and so on. So as each bit finishes, the next part's ready and waiting.

Mexican Black Tar Heroin: "Dark End"

Khun Sa, whose name meant Prince Prosperous, had been, before his death in the mid 2000s, the world's biggest dealer in China White Heroin: "Lord of the Golden Triangle"

In-depth portrait of the Afghan heroin trade at its very height. Includes heroin-lab bust. "Afghanistan's Fateful Harvest"

Classic miniseries whose title became a catchphrase for the misery of life in East Asian prison. Nicole Kidman plays a privileged middle-class girl set up to mule heroin through Thai customs with the inevitable consequences. This is so long it had to be posted in two parts. "Bangkok Hilton 1" (first 2 hours or so); "Bangkok Hilton 2" (last couple of hours).

Short film: from tapwater-clear H4 in the USA to murky black Afghan brown in Norway: "Heroin Addicts Speak"

Before his untimely death this guy kept a video diary. Here's the hour-long highlights as broadcast on BBC TV: "Ben: Diary of a Heroin Addict". Thanks to Noah for the original link.

Some of the most entertaining scenes from Britain's top soap (as much for the poor research as anything else). Not even Phil Mitchell would go from nought to multi-hundred pound binges this fast: "Phil Mitchell on Crack" (just over 5 minutes).

Scientist lady shows us how to cook up gear: "How Much Citric?" Lucky cow: her brown is 70% purity! Oddly we never see her actually do her hit... maybe she got camera shy...

And lastly:

German documentary following a life from teenage addiction to untimely death before the age of 30. The decline in this girl's appearance is truly shocking. "Süchtig: Protokoll einer Hilflosigkeit". Sorry no subtitles; this is here for anyone learning German who's after practice material a little more gripping than Lindenstraße!

Nosey Quiz! Have you ever heard voices when you weren't high on drugs?

Manic Magic

Manic Magic

Gledwood Volume 2: A Heroin Addict's Blog

Copyright 2011 by Gledwood